Thinking about fostering? Read about Banbridge fostercarers Ruth and William
24/03/2014The Southern Trust Health and Social Care Trust is urging caring people to come forward to provide vulnerable children with foster homes.
Ruth and William from Banbridge had been thinking about fostering for a long time and were inspired by a newspaper article about another couple who foster.
Ruth explains: “Like many people, William and I had been thinking about becoming foster carers for a number of years. It was an article in the local paper in April 2012 that prompted me to call the Family Placement Team as we thought it was something we would like to do. We felt we had the time and space in our lives to provide a child with a nurturing home.”
After an initial visit from a social worker, the couple completed forms and attended a Skills To Foster course where they learnt more about the fostering ‘process’.
“Our social worker was easy to talk to and the meetings we had were very informal,” says Ruth. “The course was very interesting and we heard about the experiences of foster carers who were already looking after children. It was reassuring that the social worker offers so much ongoing support. We were assigned our own social worker who came to see us individually over a four-month period.”
During those four months, Ruth and William were asked to write about their lives.
William says: “I wrote a couple of pages of the major events in my life but Ruth found the experience enjoyable and therapeutic and wrote 24 pages. During that time I also attended a Men In Fostering course.”
As part of the process, Ruth and William went before a fostering panel for approval to become carers in February 2013 and began caring for a child immediately. Since then, they have attended other training organised by the Family Placement Team and Ruth has spoken to other potential fostercarers during a Skills To Foster course.
“We wouldn’t change a thing,” adds William. “Life is busy but Ruth ensures we’re organised and the child is part of our family and our wider family. Everything has fallen into place for our family.”
If you are thinking about becoming a fostercarer and believe you can provide a safe, secure and caring family life where a child will be nurtured and developed, why not come along to a fostercarer recruitment event? The next event is taking place on Thursday 3 April from 2-7pm in Armagh City Hotel and foster carers and social workers will be available to answer questions. Or call 0800 0720 137 or visit www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net for more information.